VICTORIA, BC, Nov. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - The Professional Employees Association (PEA) has reached a tentative agreement with the B.C. Government for its 1200 Government Licensed Professionals.
The two-year agreement includes total wage increases of 4%. It also includes improved professional fee reimbursement. "The Bargaining Committee is unanimously recommending acceptance of the tentative deal," said PEA Executive Director Scott McCannell. "This is the best deal we could achieve under the Government's restrictive cooperate gains mandate," said McCannell.
Most significantly, the BC Public Service agreed to a joint committee on licensed professionals in the public service. This joint committee entails various commitments of the employer to engage in meaningful, information-based discussions with the PEA about the role of professionals in the public service. The B.C. public service has reduced the number of licensed professionals by 26 per cent over the past decade. "We now have an opportunity to begin to address ongoing reductions to the number of public service licensed professionals. These reductions have had devastating impacts on how our publicly owned forests are managed and created greater risks to public safety," said McCannell.
The agreement was the result of a lengthy bargaining process that included 15 days of negotiations and seven days of mediation. PEA members took a 92% strike vote in May 2012. They also took job action for the first time in their 38-year history.
PEA members who work for the BC Government are licensed professionals including: foresters, engineers, geoscientists, agrologists, veterinarians, mines inspectors, licensed psychologists, pharmacists and others. They provide expert response to floods and landslides, keep public highway bridges and roads safe, counsel troubled youth, help prevent the transmission of disease and provide an independent, science-based perspective in contributing to the stewardship of public resources, such as forests and lands.
SOURCE: Professional Employees Association
For further information:
Brett Harper, Communications Officer
Phone: 250-385-8791 ext. 206